Friday, October 4, 2013

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel by Jamie Ford

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

 From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweetcomes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.

Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.

my thoughts:

What a terrific book! Jamie Ford's novel Songs of Willow Frost is an emotional, engaging, and unputdownable read.  I found myself crying, crying, and crying some more as I read this book. I couldn't help it.  My heart just broke reading all about William and his search for his mother.   And, how could I not
sob whilst reading about the horrific upbringing that Willow endured at the hands of her stepfather.  This book just had me in tears the whole way through.

Set in depression era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost tells the story of William Eng and his mother, Willow.  Growing up as an orphan, William has always wondered about his mother and why she would abandon him.  On his birthday outing, he sees a movie and finds himself convinced that the actress in the film is his mother.  So, he decides to stow away on a book mobile and head to the city to look for her.  His best friend, Charlotte, tags along for the journey.  When the duo find Willow, William finds out the truth - she is his mother.  Through flashbacks we learn all about Willow's past - growing up, losing her father, getting abused and raped by her stepfather, forced to give up her son, her life in the entertainment industry, and so much more.  We also learned about the ugly realities that Chinese-Americans had to face when living in America: such as, "yellow babies" not being adoptable and the stigma attached to Chinese artists.  It was heartbreaking to read about the gender and racial inequalities that Chinese-American women experienced at that time.  This book really shed light on a part of history that I was unaware of.

I would definitely recommend Songs of Willow Frost to fans of Jamie Ford's work (The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), fans of fiction, and fans of historical fiction.  You will enjoy getting lost in William's and Willow's stories.

Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Songs of Willow Frost

GIVEAWAY:  Thanks to the publisher, I am allowed to give away one copy of this terrific book.  All you have to do is leave me a comment - don't forget to include your email address!  US residents only (no PO boxes).  Last day to enter is October 25th.  Good luck!!

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with this book!


*krystyn* said...

Oooh thanks for the chance to win!! This one has been on my To Read list!! I loved "On the Corner of Bitter & Sweet"

traveler said...

This novel would be memorable and a treasure. thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Sveta said...

Gee, sounds like an amazing book in more ways than one. Today is my birthday, turning 28! *crosses fingers* s Underscore libenson At Yahoo Dot Com

jmisgro said...

I wanted to read this one. I really enjoyed "On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet".

Carol N Wong said...

I didn't know about the stigma of "yellow babies" and I am impressed that the bookmobile was chosen as a way to escape in search of love. Thank you so much for the chance to win this book.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'd love to read this. I loved his previous book!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Becca said...

I still have the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on my bookshelf, unread. Sounds like I need to whip it out and read it already and then get this one, too!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this one!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

rhonda said...

Book sounds wonderful. Lomazowr@gmail.com

Lilian said...

This book definitely sounds like a heart-wrenching read I would love to check out!

Thanks for the giveaway~
lilianxcheng AT gmail.com

traveler said...

thanks for this amazing book that would be unforgettable. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Karielle Stephanie said...

I am a HUGE Jamie Ford fan. Songs of Willow Frost's plot intrigues me so much. Thanks for a lovely review!

thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

I haven't read Jamie Ford's work yet but he's on my list of authors to read. I've read some wonderful reviews of Songs of Willow Frost and I'm intrigued by William Cheng and anxious to read his story.

Your review is great and I really enjoyed it, if I didn't want to read this book already, you would have hooked me on it.

Thank you for hosting a giveaway, please include me in it.

Aimala127 (at) gmail(dot) com

Melinda said...

Definitely a book I still want to read! Thanks for the review!

Coppage said...

I'm so excited for this one! Thanks for the chance to win.

petite said...

Would treasure this novel. thanks for this great review. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

nfmgirl said...

This one has been on my Wish List. Please count me in. Thank you!

Bellezza said...

Just saw the promotion of this in a real live bookstore in Woodstock, IL called Reading Between the Lynes. Isn't that a clever name?! I loved On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and I'd love to be considered for his newest book. Thanks, Nadia.